BROWNSVILLE, RGV – Toyota Motors North America has donated two used manufacturing robots to Brownsville for educational purposes.

One robot was delivered to Texas Southmost College’s ITEC Center and another to Brownsville ISD’s Porter High School.

Mario Lozoya, executive director of the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation, helped secure the robots for BISD and TSC. Lozoya was an executive with Toyota Motor Manufacturing in San Antonio before joining GBIC.

“It is imperative that we work together, as a region, to create relevant processes in our schools that will help provide the necessary skills for citizens in our own back yard and position them to assume the high-tech workforce of tomorrow,” Lozoya said.

In the above podcast, Lozoya talks to Rio Grande Guardian editor Steve Taylor about the acquisition of the robots from Toyota, as well as workforce development, the digital divide, and GBIC’s “We Grow Our Own” program.

Editor’s Note: The interview was recorded by GBIC’s “We Grow Our Own” event on Friday, Oct. 25. Click here to read a preview of the event.

Speaking about the robots coming from Toyota, Dr. Juan Chavez, career technology education administrator for BISD said:

“It’s a great feeling knowing that Brownsville ISD students will have access to a fully functional manufacturing robot and learn these much-needed skills in this emergent field. We embrace this generous donation from Toyota and are extremely grateful to them for sharing their resources that will help strengthen our economy in Brownsville for years to come.”

Dr. Jesus Roberto Rodriguez, president of TSC, said of the Toyota donation:

“This initiative brings together all of our local workforce training partners to capitalize upon the most important asset in our community—our human capital. By working together with Toyota, GBIC, and the Brownsville Independent School District, we will ensure our region is prepared to fill high- demand, high-wage jobs in advanced manufacturing.”

Steve Guerra is chairman of GBIC. He said: “It’s refreshing to see our Economic Development Organization, our School District and our Community College working together to help train our workforce of tomorrow. These types of activities are essential to help prepare our youth for future job opportunities.”